Georgian opposition to request termination of parliamentary mandates on legislature's first day at work
The Georgian opposition is planning to hold a separate event on the day of the first parliamentary session, at which parties will sign a three-part document including:
- the cancellation of party lists
- MPs’ request to have their mandates terminated
- yet further confirmation that the opposition parties do not recognize the 2020 parliamentary elections as legitimate.
The declaration will be signed at the historic Metekhi Cathedral by all opposition parties participating in the elections, as a sign that they do not recognize the results of what they say were rigged elections on October 31.
According to Gigi Ugulava, one of the leaders of the European Georgia party, all 60 opposition MPs who formally entered parliament will sign that they are not going to participate in falsification and will apply to parliament with a request to have their MP status terminated, according to the law.
Opposition politicians also commented on the possibility of holding a third round of negotiations between the opposition and the authorities, mediated by the US ambassador and the EU representative, at which the parties are discussing a possible compromise.
According to Strategy Aghmashenebeli member Sergo Chikhladze, the opposition, international partners and citizens are expecting a third round, but whether the negotiations will take place depends on the ruling party.
According to Gigi Ugulava, the opposition should not “bore too much” the mediators, so that without a real proposal from the authorities “no one will come to drink tea.”
“My personal position is that a meeting should not be held for the sake of a meeting,” said Gigi Ugulava.
Zaal Udumashvili, a member of the opposition United National Movement party, considers the third round of negotiations to be a duty of the authorities and says the opposition is always ready to sit down at the negotiating table any day. But now the main thing is for the authorities to come up with a concrete proposal.
“It depends on what they offer. It seems that (the ruling) Georgian Dream party has not yet formulated its proposal for the opposition,” Udumashvili said.
The talks were also commented on by the chairman of the Georgian parliament, one of the leaders of the ruling party Archil Talakvadze.
According to Talakvadze, the parties are close to an agreement, but the last stage requires more willpower and the opposition’s ability to make the right decisions in an “environment free of destructive elements.”
“We, the entire people, must unite around the goal that our country needs most of all: to defeat the virus and restore the economy. Politics, all parties and the new parliament should serve this goal,” Talakvadze said.
Parliamentary elections in Georgia this year for the first time were held under the new system – 120/30. That is, according to the proportional system – party lists, 120 deputies were elected, according to the majoritarian system (single-mandate constituencies) – 30.
In the first round, the government’s candidates won in 13 majoritarian constituencies, and a second round was appointed in 17, since none of the candidates received 50 percent of the vote. The opposition, in protest against electoral fraud, refused to participate in the second round. As a result of voting, candidates from the ruling party were elected in all 17 constituencies.
According to the proportional system, the votes were distributed as follows:
Georgian Dream – 48.22%
United National Movement – Strength in Unity – 27.18%
European Georgia – 3.79%
Lelo – 3.16%
Alliance of Patriots – 3.14%
Strategy Builder – 3.15%
Girchi – 2.89%
Citizens – 1.33%
Labor Party – 1%.
All opposition parties running in the elections, as well as non-governmental organizations observing the elections, declared electoral irregularities on an unprecedented scale. Including – bribery and pressure on voters, as well as gross falsifications in the counting of votes.